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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 4, 2011 / 4 Menachem-Av, 5771

Chasing votes by promising to do impossible things

By Michael Barone




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "Leading from behind." That's what an unnamed White House aide told the New Yorker's Ryan Lizza that Barack Obama was doing on Libya.

It's an apt description of Obama's feckless handling of the debt ceiling debate. He kept calling for a tax increase even though there was never a majority in either house of Congress for one and even after Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid dropped any such demand.

But leading from behind is also a description of what most of the declared and all-but-declared Republican presidential candidates were doing on the debt limit issue.

Two backed the deal -- Jon Huntsman, who has not yet won widespread support, and Thaddeus McCotter, who seems to be running a whimsical campaign though he is a serious member of Congress.

The two other candidates with a vote on the issue voted no. Ron Paul, often a lonely nay in the House, was a predictable no. Michele Bachmann, a backbencher in her three House terms, said the deal "spends too much and doesn't cut enough."

Others said little or nothing. The Daily Caller couldn't get comments from spokesmen for Herman Cain or Rick Santorum. Rick Perry, not yet a declared candidate, said he liked the cut, cap and balance bill passed in the House but rejected in the Senate.

Tim Pawlenty called the deal "nothing to celebrate and Newt Gingrich said it could be "a destructive failure." Mitt Romney, running on his supposed economic expertise, said, "While I appreciate the extraordinarily difficult situation President Obama's lack of leadership has placed Republican members of Congress in, I personally cannot support this deal."

Now it's true that few members of Congress looked to these candidates (even those that are colleagues) for guidance on the issue, and there's a history of presidential candidates casting cheap-shot no votes on debt ceiling bills (e.g., Sen. Obama in 2006).

But it's also true that anyone who actually gets to be president will at some point be compelled to call for raising the debt ceiling. Failing to do so and defaulting on the nation's debt could have catastrophic effects.

Most of these candidates are obviously seeking to appeal to the millions of ordinary citizens who have become active in politics over the past several years, notably in the Tea Party. That movement, as I've written, has on balance strengthened the Republican Party, propelling it to an impressive victory last November.

But it may be weakening the Republican Party in 2012 by demanding that its presidential candidates take positions that no president could ever take.

We have seen this kind of thing before. The last such inrush of millions of ordinary citizens into political activity was the peace movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s. On balance it strengthened the Democratic Party in congressional elections.

But it also advanced presidential candidates who proved to be less than ideal nominees in November -- the diffident Eugene McCarthy, who did not win the 1968 nomination but might have if the present system of primaries had been in place, and the earnest George McGovern, nominated because of his opposition to the Vietnam War rather than his record in office, who lost 49 states in 1972.

Strong peaceniks and strong Tea Partiers alike tend to be attracted to candidates who promise to do impossible things -- cut off funding for a war, default on the national debt. Facing such constituencies, competing candidates will try not to leave any room between them and the Democratic left or the Republican right.

This may be accentuated because this cycle's crop of Republican candidates has no one with the high-level experience in foreign or fiscal matters that some contenders in the Democratic fields of 1968 and 1972 had.

Its current members of Congress have been backbenchers. Most of its governors have had no federal or foreign policy experience. The exception -- Huntsman, former ambassador to Singapore and China -- tends to prove the rule.

Sometime between now and the first caucuses and primaries some of these candidates may present a more serious fiscal and economic platform than any of them has so far. In the meantime it's tempting to seek quick votes by promising the impossible and pledging to do things no president ever would.

The problem is that once you get in office this way you may end up "leading from behind." Just ask Barack Obama.

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JWR contributor Michael Barone is senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner.




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